Pg. 26-27 South African litchi market access – a progress report for 2008

The South African litchi industry applied for market access to the USA. Market access is a government to government
process, with official communication through the respective national plant protection authorities (NPPO), the Department of Agriculture (DoA) and United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (USDA-APHIS). The litchi, mango and avocado industry interact with the NPPO’s through a DoA chaired market access work group and an independently established market access focus group chaired by Subtrop / Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The USDA-APHIS pest risk analysis (PRA) of SA litchi identified the litchi moth, false codling moth, fruit flies and scales as quarantine pests. During 2007 /08, on behalf of the South African Litchi Growers’ Association (SALGA), comments were co-ordinated on the PRA and communicated to the DoA. The SA litchi industry accepted the proposal to use gamma irradiation for mitigation of quarantine pest risks (no efficacy research needed), with the provision that cold treatment be an alternative once its efficacy is proven. The cold treatment research protocol was obtained from T. Ware and submitted to DoA. In addition, it was requested that irradiation can be conducted in the USA or in South Africa (once accredited facilities are available locally) and to allow export to unfavourable climatic zones in the USA without irradiation treatment. No response from the USDA has been received on these proposals yet, but is expected shortly. The preliminary rule stating conditions of importing SA litchi to the USA will be published in the near future and 90 days will be allowed for comment. A final rule will be published allowing legal import of SA litchi once any concerns have been addressed. The DTI is currently undertaking independent marketing research on the logistics and profitability of accessing the USA market with fresh SA litchis.

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